Capitals Coach Barry Trotz said it’s “possible” that Oshie plays against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night, but the indications are that a return then is likely. Washington reassigned forward Paul Carey in part because of Oshie’s improving health. Without Oshie in the lineup, the Capitals are 3-3-1.
“We’ll make that decision tomorrow,” Trotz said. “We’ll see where he is tomorrow.”
Said Alex Ovechkin: “He’s been missed a lot in the atmosphere in the locker room. You know, when we was on the road, he’s texting us. He’s a big part of our group, one of the leaders and a great teammate. It’s nice to have him back. He’s a big part of our success.”
Oshie said he hasn’t been limited at all for the past two days, participating in contact drills with scratches Brett Connolly and Nate Schmidt. On Tuesday, he tried crashing the front of the net as another test.
“I told Schmidty not to let up on me,” Oshie said. “I hope he didn’t. And it felt good. Like I said, it’s still day-by-day, and we’ll see where we get to tomorrow morning. But right now, it feels great.”
Before getting injured against the Detroit Red Wings, Oshie had been having a strong start to the season, notching eight goals and four assists in the first 17 games. He also played on the top power-play and penalty-kill units, averaging 18:06 before getting hurt. He missed just two games last season, and both were because of illness, not injury. His return to the power play could especially provide a boost.
“Without a doubt, I think Osh in that diamond spot is as good as anybody in the National Hockey League,” Trotz said. “I think he’s tenacious. I think he understands that position, especially on our power play. I think his retrievals of keeping pucks alive versus stay-and-pressure is exceptional. His hand skill to make something out of nothing to keep that power play alive is one of the best. All of that being said, I think he could make a huge difference on our power play because I think he’s really good.”